“Most Frugal Woman in the UK” Lives on Just $3,500 a Year

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Meet Ilona Richards, a retired truck driver who is well known as ‘Britain’s most frugal woman’. Some of her tips for simple living include scouring supermarkets for discounted food, having guests bring their own tea bags, saving ink by making your handwriting smaller, a weekly bath to save water, and flushing the loo only once a day with old bathwater.

Richards prides herself for her frugality in nearly every single aspect of life, managing on only £2,400 of her state pension of £10,000 a year. She detests wastefulness, so she tries to make everything last as long as it possibly can. She can make do with a bottle of dish soap for an entire year, but that’s probably because she hardly does any cooking. She’s a vegetarian, because it’s cheaper, surviving on a vat of vegetable stew made from expired produce. She makes it last an entire month.

There are plenty of other examples of thriftiness all around her kitchen. For starters, she doesn’t use her kettle to make tea. “I usually heat up my cup of water in the microwave,” she said, speaking to Daily Mail. “It takes two cups to cover the kettle element and I only need one, so why waste it?” Her oven has been broken for ages, but she hasn’t had it fixed because she has no use for it.

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If You’re a Spoiled Rich Kid, This Guy Is Opening a School Just for You

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Jonathan Cheban, whose claim to fame so far has been his close association with the Kardashians, is starting a new venture – a school that educates rich kids on the nuances of leading a wealthy lifestyle.

At the ‘International School of New York’, where Cheban will serve as the ‘Dean of Pop Culture’, students will be groomed in subjects that aren’t covered in regular schools  – right from identifying different types of caviar, to choosing leather seats for private jets. So basically, the kind of stuff that will help them become bigger, better snobs.

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Uber Driver Makes over $90,000 in Six Months without Actually Driving

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Uber driver Joseph Ziyaee is in the news for making a whopping $90,000 in only six months. That’s an unprecedented amount for for Uber drivers, and virtually anyone driving a car for a living, no matter how hard they work. But here’s the shocking part – Ziyaee earned all that money through the popular service, but doing almost no driving at all!

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Woman Finds Out Husband Secretly Divorced Her 20 Years Ago to Protect His Fortune

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Cristina Carta Villa was in a happy marriage for 20 years, or so she believed. Her seemingly perfect life fell apart a few months ago when she made a shocking discovery – she’s actually been divorced the whole time! Cristina, 59, is now suing her 90-year-old ‘husband’, Gabriel Villa, asking that the divorce be nullified because she never knew about it. She’s also trying to stop him from selling the $1.4 million New York apartment that has been their home for the past two decades.

Cristina first met Gabriel, a lawyer and travel agent 30 years her senior, at a mutual friend’s house. They connected almost instantly, falling in love and eventually getting married in 1994. “He was absolutely charming, and despite our age difference, it was love at first sight,” she said, speaking to New York Post.

After the wedding, Cristina left her job teaching Italian at Boston College to start a family with Gabriel in New York. They had a son, Lorenzo, and the family split their time between their homes in New York and Paris. Cristina thought she had a wonderful life, but it was all a lie – Gabriel had secretly divorced her only four months into the marriage, in order to avoid sharing his fortune with her.

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Man Avoids Traffic Jams for 15 Years by Rowing to Work

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In a bid to avoid traffic jams, a librarian from Bladensburg, Maryland, has come up with a really unique way of commuting to work – he’s been rowing his way to work in downtown Washington for the past 15 years.

71-year-old Gabriel Horchler says he looks forward to rowing his 21-foot Vespoli fiberglass racing shell to work in the morning just as much as he did when he first started in the year 1997. He got the idea when he was stuck on his motorcycle in the middle of heavy traffic, and he turned his eyes to the Anacostia River that runs parallel to the freeway. That’s when it hit him – why not use the river instead?

So he did just that, and now, 15 years later, his routine is pretty much set in stone. The river doesn’t exactly flow right outside his home, so he has to first take a 15-minute bike ride to reach his rowing shell at the Bladensburg Waterfront Park. He then rows about five miles downriver. In the last leg of the journey, he gets off the boat and onto another bike before arriving at the Library of Congress in Washington. The entire trip takes him 90 minutes from start to finish. He takes the metro back home from work, and the next day, the routine is reversed – he takes the metro to work and rows back home.

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Mercy Bus – Mobile Church Offers Confession and Blessings on the Go

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The Catholic Diocese of Salford, in North West England, has come up with a unique initiative to reach out to the masses – a church on wheels. Aptly named the ‘Mercy Bus’, it’s an actual double-decker bus that will tour Greater Manchester and Lancashire throughout Lent, offering people sermons, blessings, and Confession.

Father Frankie Mulgrew, the brains behind the mission, revealed that Pope Francis was his inspiration when he came up with the idea last summer. The Bishop of Salford, John Arnold, was looking for innovative ideas while making plans for the Year of Mercy. Fr. Frankie thought it would be great to have holy doors all over the diocese, and a mobile holy door that would move around the city. The idea kept evolving until, eventually, the Mercy Bus was born.

“We were inspired by the Pope who, when he was a cardinal in Argentina, would celebrate open-air Masses in the poorest areas of his diocese,” Fr Frankie said.

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Woman Crashes Own Funeral to Confront Husband Who Tried To Have Her Killed

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Noela Rukundo is one of the few people in the world who can claim to have attended their own funeral. That might sound funny, but her story is actually rather chilling, involving a vengeful husband, assassins with a conscience, and a trip halfway across the world.

It all started a year ago when Noela, a resident of Melbourne, travelled to her native country, Burundi, in East Africa to attend her step mother’s funeral. She was accompanied by her husband, Balenga Kalala, a refugee from Congo whom she had met 11 years ago. She used to translate for him when he first arrived in Melbourne, and they eventually fell in love, got married, and had three children. Over the years, Noela learned that her husband had suffered a violent past that had brought out an abusive streak in him. “I knew he was a violent man,” she told the BBC. “But I didn’t believe he can kill me.”

But that’s exactly what Kalala did, or had planned to at least. Suspecting that Noela was going to leave him for another man, an accusation that she now denies, he hired hit men in Bujumbura, Burundi’s capital city, to have her killed. As she rested in her hotel room after the funeral, Kalala called Noela and asked her to step out for some fresh air. And when she did, she found herself face-to-face with a man pointing a gun at her.

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Chef Says He Lost 101 Pounds in 7 Months Eating Pizza Every Day

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If you’ve been trying to lose weight forever, you’re definitely going to be interested in how this New York chef shed a whopping 101 pounds eating pizza every day for seven months. It probably goes against every single bit of dieting advice you’ve ever been given, but hey, the proof is right there in the pudding. Or in this case, the pizza.

Chef Pasquale Cozzolino revealed that he put on a colossal 370 pounds after he moved to the US from Italy. “I discovered the Oreo, which we never had in Italy,” he confessed. “It was like an addiction. I’d eat 10 or 12 Oreos, one time I even ate the whole box. It was like a drug for me.” He was also drinking two to three cans of soda a day at one point.

These habits made Cozzolino so overweight that he could no longer do the things he loved, like playing with his son in the park. He was wearing pants with a 48-inch waist and his doctors warned him that he was at high risk for heart disease. “I had knee problems, back problems, three ulcers in the stomach,” he said. The time was ripe for him to shed the excess pounds.

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The World’s Longest-Running Experiment Started in 1879 and Will End in 2100

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Since the late 19th century, botanists at the Michigan State University have been collaborating on a single seed-germination experiment. Now in its 137th year, it is turning out to be the world’s longest recurrently monitored scientific study. It will end in the year 2100, which means most of us won’t even be around for the final result.

The world’s longest-running experiment  started out in the fall of 1879, when Dr. William James Beal, a botanist, set-out to find a conclusive answer to the one question that farmers have been asking for centuries: How many times do you have to pull out weeds before they entirely stop growing back? Beal realised that to answer the question, he needed to work it out for real – by finding out exactly how long seeds could remain dormant in soil while still remaining viable.

So he devised an experiment that would, in centuries, provide the answer he was looking for. He put together a collection of seeds of 23 different plant types and decided to leave them dormant for years, before checking if they would still germinate. He placed 50 seeds of each variety in each of 20 narrow-necked glass bottles filled with moist sand, and buried them in a secret spot on the university campus.

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India’s Love Commandos – The Vigilantes Protecting Young Couples Against Prejudice

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Marrying for love is still taboo in many parts of India, especially outside the boundaries of caste or religion. But there are people who do sympathize with young couples, like the Love Commandos, a four-man activist organisation based in the nation’s capital, New Delhi. Their mission is to help couples elope and start a new life together, safely away from the wrath of their families.

“The main function of the Love Commandos is to allow people to do this in safety and in accordance with the laws of India, and to prevent honor killings happening to young couples,” Belgian author Hans Theys wrote in the introduction to photographer Max Pinckers book Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty on India’s Love Commandos, a project that won him first prize in the Photographic Museum of Humanity competition in 2014.

And that’s exactly what the Love Commandos are all about. They encourage lovers to reach out to them via a telephone helpline, or their website, for any kind of assistance – including accommodation in safe rooms and shelters across India. They’ve even sent out rescue teams to protect newly-weds running away from enraged relatives. The group boasts of having helped over 40,000 couples in nearly six years of existence. Of course, they couldn’t have done it without the help of hundreds of volunteers and priests who agreed to organize and perform the clandestine marriage ceremonies and getaways.

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Couple Who Have Never Met in Person Before Marry at Ontario Airport

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Mere minutes after meeting in person for the first time, a California woman and a New York man got hitched at the Ontario International Airport on Friday. They’re now calling their meeting an ‘insta-engagement’ and ‘insta-wedding’, paying tribute to the fact that they first got in touch on Instagram in March last year.

After three days of wedded bliss, Erica Harris and Arte Vann claim they are still madly in love. “I didn’t realise how much I love this man,” Erica, a mother-of-three. “Now we’ve they’ve spent three days together, I can’t believe how much I love him.”

The decision to marry was premeditated; reporters from CBS News were waiting at the airport to film Erica Harris and Arte Vann tie the knot. In fact, Erica was the one who informed CBS about her wedding plans and invited them to record it, so that her new mother-in-law could watch it on TV. “I believe this man deserves a lot of love, and I want to give him the love he gives me,” she said. “[Calling CBS] was a present to his mom, because she wouldn’t be at the wedding since we were eloping.”

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Norwegian Girl Says She Is a Cat Trapped in a Human Body

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20-year-old Nano, from Oslo, Norway, claims that that she isn’t human at all, but a cat born in the wrong species. Her ‘feline tendencies’ include a superior sense of hearing and sight, a hatred of water, and the ability to communicate in ‘meows’. She even tries to hunt mice in the dark!

Her story was first revealed in a video report published by the Norwegian YouTube channel NRK P3 Verdens Rikeste Land. In the interview, Nano is seen wearing a pair of pointed ears and an artificial tail as she talks about her condition. She explains that she has been displaying cat-like behavior since childhood, but only realised it when she was a teenager. 

“I realised I was a cat when I was 16, when doctors and psychologists found out what was “the thing” with me,” the translation on the video reads. “Under my birth, there was a genetic defect. It’s also obvious that I’m a cat when I start purring and meowing. And walking around on four legs and stuff like that.”

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America’s Longest-Standing Protester Passes Away after Spending 35 Years Outside the White House

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Last week, Washington, D.C. mourned the death of Concepcion ‘Connie’ Picciotto, a legendary peace activist who had been camping in front of the White House since 1981. She was a well-known personality in the U.S. Capital, having manned the peace vigil tent for three-and-a-half decades, suffering the worst of both weather and humanity, all in an attempt to “stop the world from being destroyed.”

Orphaned in Spain and raised by a grandmother, Connie arrived in New York in 1960, where she worked as a receptionist for a Spanish government commercial attaché. She married an Italian immigrant a few years later, and they adopted an infant daughter, Ogla, in 1973. But she claimed that things started to turn sour when her husband, in an attempt to conceal his criminal dealings, sent her to a mental institution. She lost her daughter in a custody dispute after her release, and ended up in Washington, where she naturally gravitated towards larger causes.

Connie joined the anti-nuclear White House Peace Vigil a few months after it was started by another activist, William Thomas. They camped out together outside the White House for 25 years, and when he passed away in 2009, she kept the vigil going with the help of other activists who joined her from time to time. Picciotto’s peace vigil is considered the longest in the history of the United States.

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People Keep Showing Up at This House Looking for Their Lost Phones

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Since February last year, a host of strangers have been showing up uninvited at Christina Lee and Michael Saba’s suburban Atlanta home, for the weirdest reason – they’re all looking for their lost phones!

Much to the young couple’s surprise, smartphone tracking apps all over the city have been directing phone owners to their house. It all started when an angry family came knocking at their door last February, demanding that Lee and Saba return their stolen phone. The bewildered couple had no idea what they were talking about. Then same thing happened two months later, this time with a group of friends looking for a lost phone.

Soon the problem got worse, with four such visitors showing up within the span of a month. People would call on them morning, noon, and night, all with the same, bizarre question – “where the heck is my phone?” Of course, Lee and Saba had no clue about the missing phones – some Android, some iPhones – with a variety of carriers. They even developed a standard response: “I’m sorry you came all this way. This happens a lot.”

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UK Company Is Growing Furniture by Molding Trees into Chairs, Tables or Lamps

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Money might not grow on trees, but it seems that furniture does! Gavin Munro, a UK-based designer, has come up with a brilliant alternative to chopping beautiful trees and converting them into furniture. He simply molds young saplings to take the shape of any piece of furniture he wants. Once matured, the trees are ready to be harvested and used with no cutting, sawing, or assembling required.

Munro, who runs a company called ‘Full Grown’, said he wants to “rethink our relationship with trees and time.” His idea is to get rid of environmentally unfriendly practices involved in the mass manufacture of furniture, and replace it with a much easier process.

“When you look at it from a manufacturing point of view and from a design point of view, it actually makes total sense. Why would you grow trees, chop them down with all the faff?” he questioned. “Why don’t you just grow the shape you want and it is eminently scalable? You can make thousands of these in the same way as you can make 10, but each one is unique.”

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